2018 DANCE FACULTY

TOKYO

MTV Music Video nominated choreographer ,TOKYO, has a very unique induction into dance as he was not introduced to dance till he was a Senior in high school. Tokyo grew up in the martial arts and began training at age 5. By the age of 15 he attained several black belts in various arts in addition to training in Wrestling, Muay Thai, Boxing and MMA (Cage Fighting).

At age 17, after a promising undefeated amateur record, just a few months shy of making a professional career in MMA (mixed martial arts/cage fighting), TOKYO discovered dance and his life changed drastically. Since leaving the “fight” world and entering the dance world, TOKYO has been fortunate enough to have done master classes and choreography in the US, Canada, Australia, Central America, France, Poland, Ukraine, Croatia, Mexico and UK for many TV shows, music videos, musicals, studios, companies, colleges, casinos and Cirque Du Soleil. TOKYO is returning from France where he choreographed the largest musical production in France’s history, Adam et Eve. In addition, during his time in France, TOKYO choreographed and directed several music videos and TV shows. Most recently TOKYO choreographed several pieces for SYTYCD-Ukraine as well as for Paula Abdul in Russia. TOKYO is on faculty at the world renowned professional dance studio Millennium Dance Complex as well as guest faculty with EDGE and Broadway Dance Center.

Due to TOKYO’s background in martial arts his approach to dance movement, philosophy and teaching is very unique and has been received and loved by many. TOKYO has recently teamed up with Alisha Captain to produce MOVEtheWORLD, a charity event giving people around the world financial support for medical surgeries and bills.

He is extremely excited to give back to those that have given so much to him, through the art of dance!

JAY T SCHRAMEK

Jay is a Dora Mavor Moore Award nominated performer, educator and adjudicator. His twenty year teaching career spans Canada’s most prestigious post-secondary arts institutions and dozens of dance studios. A graduate of Ryerson University’s dance program and a former Mr. Dance of Canada, he has been a faculty member at the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts, George Brown College and Saint Lawrence College. Jay has been a guest teacher at: Sheridan College, Etobicoke School of the Arts, Pearson School for the Arts, the Eastern Arkansas Ballet, Duboforce Mexico and the Charlottetown Festival Young Company. He is currently the Tap Director at Dimensions in Dance in Kitchener and on faculty at Toronto’s Metro Movement.

His professional choreographic credits include: Singin In the Rain (Rubarb), The Fan (Odyssey Theatre), The Time of My Life (Soulpepper),The Haunted Hillbilly (Sidemart Theatrical), Little Shop of Horrors (Magnus Theatre) & Dads II (Magnus Theatre). Jay and his wife Kerry Gage own Hoopla Entertainment, providing corporate entertainment for clients such as: Canada Blooms, The Ontario Hospital Association, The Wedding Shows, Perfect Sphere and more.

As a performer, he continues to work in theatres across the continent. He has performed for The Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Mirvish Productions, Capitol Theatre, Charlottetown Festival, Stage West, Drayton Entertainment, Clearchannel Entertainment and dozens more. Some of his favourite roles include: Cosmo in Singin in the Rain, Bobby in Crazy for You, Skimbleshanks in Cats, Nana in Peter Pan, Pepper in Mamma Mia, Jimmy in White Christmas, Ethan in The Full Monty, Jinx in Forever Plaid, Cecil in Anne of Green Gables, Batboy in Batboy the Musical, Action in West Side Story, Barnaby in Hello Dolly.

An accomplished voice-over actor, Jay is the voice of Platy the Platypus on Arthur (PBS Kids), Data Bot, Build Bot & Garbage Bot onSpace Ranger Roger (Family Jr), Mr. Security on Inspector Gadget (Teletoon/Netflix), Felix on Trucktown (Treehouse), Blinky on Willa’s Wild Life (YTV / Discovery), Satoru Kakuta on Slam Dunk and Tad in the animated feature Totally Spies-The Movie. His voice has been used by Royal Bank, Microsoft, Pfizer, Subaru, CBC, Aleve, Cepacol, Air Transat, and Motorola. He’s appeared on Discovery Channel’s Mayday, Showcase’s Lost Girl, CBC’s Getting Along Famously, Showtime’s Queer As Folk and the Gemini nominated film From Time to Time. He also provided the motion capture for the lead character Hadyn in the PS3 game Dark Sector.

Jay is one of North America’s most prolific talent adjudicators and has judged and hosted over 100 talent competitions, pageants and festivals across the globe. He is a member and contributor to the Professional Adjudicator Alliance manual, has written articles for The Agent’s Book and had a column in Dance Canada Quarterly. Jay is a recipient of a Tyrone Guthrie Award and a Maud Whitmore Scholarship.

@jaytschramek

JORDAN CLARK

Originally from Tottenham, Ontario, Jordan knew she wanted to become a professional dancer when she was eight years old. She started training at the age of 5 in Tap, Ballet, Hip-Hop, Contemporary, Jazz and Acro, and was teaching by the age of 12. Shortly after winning the title of “Canada’s Favourite Dancer” on So You Think You Can Dance Canada, Jordan immersed herself in acting classes. Her studies quickly paid off when she landed a starring role on the hit Television Series The Next Step. Constantly wanting to explore all areas of performance, Jordan has also appeared on stage in the role of “Eris” in Ross Petty’s 2014 Pantomime, The Little Mermaid, which had a successful run at the prestigious Elgin Theatre in Toronto. Ross Petty cast her again as “Alice” in his latest hit production Peter Pan in Wonderland. Jordan has reprised her role of “Giselle” and can currently be seen Family Channel’s newest series Lost & Found Music Studios, a spin-off of The Next Step, which premiered in January of 2016 and is distributed worldwide by Netflix. In February of 2016, Jordan departed on The Next Step Wild Rhythm Tour, a live-on-stage production showcasing the amazing talents of The Next Step dancers. Along with performing in this popular tour, Jordan and co-star Trevor Tordjman have taken on the monumental task of choreographing this exciting production, which, by the end of its run in late 2016 will be seen in Canada, the U.K, Spain, Italy, New Zealand and Australia.

AMANDA CLEGHORN

Amanda Cleghorn is a well-rounded dancer, teacher, choreographer, and, overall, performer. Her credits include movies, Camp Rock 2, Make Your Move 3D, ABC’s Desperately Seeking Santa, and Honey and tv shows, Glee, The Goldbergs, The L.A. Complex, Canada’s Got Talent and Nikita. Most notably, Amanda appeared on SYTYCDC Season 3, finishing as Canada’s favourite female dancer. She performed on Dancing With the Stars for the promo of the movie Rock of Ages choreographed by Mia Michaels, as a dancer on Xfactor Season 2 and she’s toured, assisted and judged on Jump and Nuvo Dance Convention with many well known choreographers. Amanda has performed in Stacey Tookey’s show Moment’s Defined as a dancer in Still Motion Dance Company and performed with the company at Jacobs Pillow in Massachusettes. She was featured as the lead female in Hedley’s Kiss You Inside Out music video and danced in the Oscar promo with Ellen Degeneres choreographed by Allison Holker and Stephen “Twitch” Boss. She also played the female lead, acting and dancing in a new digital special on ABCSpark called Rise and danced in the opening for the TV Land Awards with Terry Crews. Amanda toured the world with Taylor Swift on the Red tour choreographed by Tyce Diorio, she’s performed on the Grammy’s, Billboards, NBC’s Macy’s July 4th Special, the CMT Awards, American Music Awards and the Brit Awards and is seen in Taylor’s 22, Red and Shake It Off music videos. Amanda’s latest projects include working as a main troop dancer on Season 2 and 3 of the hit tv show Lip Sync Battle on SpikeTV, a performer on the newest summer television show “America’s Greatest Hits” dancing in the finale with Kelsi Balllerini, a dancer in The Hobbit: Kingdoms of the Middle Earth Dance Battle promo video for Kabam entertainment choreographed by Christopher Scott and is a dancer in the feature film Popstar: Never stop never stopping produced by Judd Apatow, choreographed by Danielle Flora and featuring the incredible Andy Samberg. Amanda was most recently an actor and dancer in the new Hallmark Channel movie A Nutcracker Christmas playing the role of Suzanne.  She looks forward to continuing her career in dance, film and television.

KYLIE THOMPSON

Originally from Barrie, Ontario, Canada, Kylie has been training in various styles of dance for over twenty-five years. She holds an honours degree in Kinesiology, and her diverse dance background and exposure includes extensive training in ballet, jazz, tap, modern, and musical theatre throughout her childhood, and in more recent years has taken to training in contemporary, improvisation, yoga, hip hop, house, and funk styles.  Kylie is a founder of Toronto’s Point of View Dance Project, a contemporary company that she co-directs and co-choreographs with partner Amy Adams. Outside of her own work Kylie has also performed in contemporary works by Gadfly Dance Company (Apolonia Velasquez and Ofilio Portillo), Alias Dance Project (Lauren Cook and Troy Feldman), Keren Rosenberg (Israel) and Marie Lambin. While residing in Toronto she performed in various commercial shows including Toronto Original Choreographer’s Ball, ScotiaBank Nuit Blanche, Toronto PRIDE, Short Dances in Small Spaces, CONTACT, and Dance Matters. She had the privilege of performing alongside pop artist Kiesza at WE Day 2015 in Toronto.  Kylie has taught and shared her passion for dance at over 50 different studios and dance companies across Canada; including Toronto’s Underground Dance Centre and Vancouver’s Harbour Dance Centre, both as a faculty member and as a guest teacher. She is also a faculty member with Dance Attack Convention. Kylie aims to inspire and motivate all those who she works with, and is dedicated to a life of making her passion her career.

AMY WRIGHT

Since her professional beginning in 1995 Amy Wright has become one of Canada’s most in demand Choreographers. Her work includes feature films, movies of the week, television series, reality TV, commercials and stage musicals, including Canada’s prestigious SHAW FESTIVAL. Amy is the Casting Director, Choreographer and a Producer for the sensational television series The Next Step watched by millions around the world.

Amy Wright makes her career by choreographing and casting projects viewed by International audiences. Her choreography was featured on So You Think You Can Dance Canada. Recently in movie theatres: Crimson Peak with Tom Hiddleston, directed by Guillermo Del Toro (Feature Film). On television: Saving Hope (CTV), Lost Girl and Copper (Showcase), Defiance and 12 Monkeys (SyFy), Hemlock Grove (Netflix), Amy is proud of her work on Emmy and Golden Globe winner Grey Gardens (HBO) with stars Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange. The IIFA Awards (2011) opening, a “flash mob” with over 200 dancers live onstage, remains Amy’s most watched choreography with over 600 million viewers worldwide.

Over the years, Amy has been fortunate to work with some of the hottest stars in the business: Rachel McAdams, Eric Bana, Hedley, LeAnn Rimes, Will Ferrell, Lindsay Lohan, Megan Fox, Colin Farrell, Molly Shannon, Alyssa Milano, Lauren Holly, Colin Mochrie, Hilary Duff and a movie produced by Britney Spears. Amy has choreographed eleven Academy Award Winners/Nominees: Julianne Moore, Woody Harrelson, Sissy Spacek, Richard Dreyfuss, Peter O’Toole, Joan Plowright, Jeremy Irons, Virginia Madsen, Helen Mirren, Ellen Page and Jessica Lange!

With an eye always open to new talent, Amy has cast hundreds of dancers for a variety of projects ranging from television’s The Next Step, to Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (Feature Film) and the American Girl movie-of-the-week Isabelle Dances Into the Spotlight. She loves watching young talent shine while adjudicating across Ontario for competitions such as: Terpsichore, Fever, Starbeat, Battle of the Next Generation, Ultimate Dance Connection, Breakthru Dance Challenge, Just Dance, Candance.

amywright.ca

KERRY GAGE

Kerry currently resides in Toronto but has spent nine seasons at the Stratford Festival. She just choreographed HMS Pinafore for the 2017 Stratford season. Other productions she has worked on include Crazy For You, Fiddler On The Roof, 42nd Street, Camelot, and Two Gentlemen of Verona.You might have seen her on the CBC reality TV show Triple Sensation Season I and II as a dance judge and choreographer.

She has spent 13 seasons at the Charlottetown Festival as part of the creative team and the Director /Choreographer of the Confederation Centre Young Company.  Kerry was also the Children’s Casting and Resident Director for the North American premiere of The Sound Of Music with Mirvish. Her performance credits include: Anne of Green Gables (Charlottetown Festival); Gigi, Love’s Labour’s Lost, My Fair Lady, Romeo & Juliet, The Boyfriend, The Gondoliers (Stratford Festival); Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, West Side Story, and Guys & Dolls (Stage West); Grease (Elgin Theatre); Oedipus Rex and Hansel & Gretel (Canadian Opera Company.)

Her choreographic credits include: Mamma Mia, Shrek-the Musical, Elf-the Musical, Miracle on 34th Street, Rocky Horror, Cinderella, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Wizard of OZ, Anne Of Green Gables, Forever Plaid, Nunsensations, The World Goes Round, Annie, the Canadian premiere of Batboy – The Musical, My Way, You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown, Hello Dolly, and Songs for a New World.

Kerry is co-owner and Creative Director of Hoopla Entertainment. She has taught at many theatre institutions such as Sheridan College, Randolph Academy, St.Clair College, St.Lawrence College, Etobicoke School Of the Arts, and George Brown College.

Kerry has been a dance adjudicator for festivals across Canada for twenty years.

“To dance is to be out of yourself, larger, more beautiful, more powerful. This is power, it is glory on earth and it is yours for the taking.” Agnes de Mille.

REBECCA ZIZEK

Rebecca has over 20 years experience as an accomplished dancer, teacher, choreographer and adjudicator from Mississauga, Ontario. Growing up in the dance world, she trained extensively in all dance styles with some of the industry’s top teachers and choreographers. In addition, she also holds a Bachelor of Health Sciences degree. Rebecca has choreographed and performed for many professional and commercial shows throughout North America including; Fever After Dark, Raise the Rhythm, Fresh Blood (The Chimera Project), New Blue Festival for Emerging Artists, Toronto Raptors Junior Dance Pak, Block Party featuring Calvin Harris, Monsterball London, Women in Dance, Ray-Dance Gala, Sketch (the Canadian National Exhibition), Toronto Dance Teacher Expo Showcase, Breaking Formality (York University BFA). Rebecca also spent two years dancing as a company member with contemporary dance company POV Dance Project. Rebecca was selected as a featured choreographer at the Young Choreographer’s Festival in 2015 (New York City), as well as at Peridance Capezio Center’s, APAP showcases (New York City). She was a five-time recipient of the Award for Young Choreography and was the recipient of the George Lon Choreography Award from DMA in addition to many other accolades that her artistic and innovative work has received. Rebecca is also in the process of choreographing her first full-length show.

Not only does she present professional work at various shows and festivals, Rebecca has extensive teaching and choreographic experience with students of all ages. She loves working as a guest teacher and choreographer and is constantly working at studios, intensives and workshops across Canada, with her work receiving much acclaim. Many of her students have gone on to pursue professional dance careers as well as students training at Joffrey Ballet School (New York City), Toronto Dance Theatre and performance dance programs at Ryerson University, York University and George Brown College. Rebecca loves to share her versatile knowledge and experience with the next generation of dancers as an adjudicator as well. Rebecca’s enthusiasm and passion as an artist is undeniable and it is her honor to be able to share this with the dance community.

EMILY EINSMANN

Emily Einsmann is a freelance dancer, choreographer, and teacher based in Toronto. (Emily’s versatility forges the bonds between technique and artistry, and her co-existing levels of success in both the commercial industry and the contemporary dance world set her apart.)

After years of training under ballet mistresses from The Goh Ballet and The Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Emily went on to receive her B.F.A in Performance Dance from Ryerson University. Upon graduation, she was immediately launched into the commercial world, and has worked and performed with Hedley, The Weeknd, Drake, Kardinal Offishall, Naughty by Nature, Young MC, Sugarhill Gang, Rob Base, Karl Wolf, MuchMusic and YTV, to name a few.

Her dance adventures have taken Emily all over the world, including to China, Dubai, Qatar, and all throughout the USA. Emily recently cast, choreographed and danced in two full length original contemporary works that toured throughout Dubai. She also choreographed the official City of Toronto’s 2013 Tree Lighting Ceremony, a record production that drew in over 8000 spectators.

Emily’s dedication to dance and art is evident on and off the stage. Her ultimate goal is to transport audiences with her performance, and to pass on her passion and knowledge to up and coming artists!

For inquiries please contact: emily.einsmann@gmail.com

Instagram: @emilyeins

CASSIAH PRYOR

Cassiah is no stranger to the dance community. She has been a very successful performer/ dancer since the age of 2, where she quickly learned that she had a passion for the performing arts.

Cassiah has obtained her BA Honors in Drama & Communications, Media and Film, as well as her Bachelor of Education teaching diploma. Cassiah has graduated with a gold seal from the ADAPT syllabus teachers training program, where she completed  an extensive 3 years of training, under the direction of Brian and Faye Foley in the styles of Tap and Jazz. She also has a very extensive Acro background and has been named a Master Instructor/ Examiner for the Acrobatique AcroDance Syllabus.

Cassiah has had the privilege of being a touring faculty member with Dance Attack Workshops for many years, which has given her the opportunity to teach and work with many talented dancers. She has also been very honored to dance and choreograph for multiple special events,  short films, fashion shows, and musicals like Cabaret, Legally Blonde, West Side Story, and most recently the very successful ‘Joseph and the Amazing technicolor Dreamcoat’.
Cassiah has an extensive background in all areas of the performing arts, and over 20 years of experience. She is known for her knowledge of dance, and has won countless awards for her unique and creative choreography. Her passion for the performing arts is most evident  through her teaching techniques, energetic classes, and positive influence on dancers. In 2015 she successfully started her own dance company, where she is now able to pass on her knowledge and desire for dance.

 

CHELSEA KING

Miss. Chelsea’s love of dance has grown since starting at the age of 2. She is a national champion in Canada and the United States, winning numerous scholarships and titles. Chelsea was trained at Dimensions In Dance which is the top studio in the Kitchener-Waterloo Region.  Chelsea studied dance with the internationally renowned choreographer and studio owner Kimberly Kay, the mega talented and Dora Mavor Award nominated performer, educator and adjudicator Jay T. Schramek. Chelsea started her ballet training at age 3 and has strong technique training from the talented Katherine Kuwabara, R.A.D.  Chelsea has many exams under her belt, obtaining Distinction for all ballet exams and is currently working to achieve her Solo Seal Award, which is the highest vocational  graded examination at the Royal Academy of Dance. Chelsea has successfully completed her Royal Academy of Dance Teacher Certificate Program and is now RAD certified. Chelsea has successfully completed her studies in child psychology, anatomy and kinesiology, body conditioning and health & safety. She is also a member of the Professional Adjudicator Alliance. Chelsea has also been a guest choreographer at Dance Attack workshops. Chelsea’s training is extensive and continues to attend and participate in many workshops, teacher expos and seminars to bring your children the most up to date dance training.

 

 

EMILY BROOKS

Emily has been engaged and active in the dance industry for two decades now. Whether it be competing in multiple competitive dance competitions, or cultivating her keen knowledge and skill in various dance disciplines within her students, Emily has never lost her passion for dance. In fact, she’s furthered her knowledge by becoming DMA certified as well as PAA certified. Emily has an abundance of experience teaching multiple forms of dance such as Jazz, Hip Hop, Tap, Acro, Lyrical and Contemporary. Internationally, she has completed master classes in hip hop in both Baltimore, Maryland as well as Buffalo, New York.
Emily is currently a studio director and owner of a successful dance studio for the past seven years. She has several years of experience teaching all ages and levels of dance.
Emily uses dance as an outlet to feel free and creative. Not only does she take an extreme amount of pride in watching her students develop into well trained technical dancers, but Emily also feels a powerful sense of gratitude as they grow into unique and confident individuals through dance.

TIA BLAKE

Tia Blake, a St. Catharines veteran, has been dancing since before she could walk. Starting with predance at the age of 2 and continuing throughout high school she enjoyed jazz, tap, ballet, hip hop and lyrical; her favourite being jazz and lyrical. During her competition career Tia had the privilege of travelling with Team Canada to Germany on the tap team and Poland on the jazz, ballet and modern team. Being a Nationals qualifier, taking classes at “Steps” in New York City, winning many first overalls in jazz and contemporary and learning from the expertise of Stacey Tookey, Jay T. Schramek, Nico Archambault and Jeff Dimitriou, Tia learned a lot throughout her competition years.

Once competing had to take a spot on the shelf, Tia now lives vicariously through her students within both recreational and competitive programs. Travelling to L.A with her scholarship-winning students, she prides herself on helping her students grow. Over the years Tia has added hip-hop and acro to her repertoire to allow for more versatility in her capabilities. Her students have won many first overall awards as well Tia herself has received numerous choreography awards.

Tia’s creativity streams from hip-hop choreography for a Niagara’s own music video, dancing, choreographing and acting in Manhattan Film Festival’s “Lost Penny”, choreography work for the Teacher Expo 2015, her workshop classes with “Dance Attack” Workshops, as well as starring in a country music video.

Tia is eager to continue learning and gaining experience among different avenues of the dance world, in hopes to bring a fresh eye to competition. Her passion for dance is evident in all the work that she does from predance classes to advanced classes. Tia continues to choreograph, teach and take classes to keep herself busy and educated in the dance industry that we all love.

JAC VALIQUETTE

Jac began dancing at the age of 2 at her family’s dance studio in Guelph, ON, where she has since trained in styles such as tap, jazz, ballet, contemporary and hip hop (w/ Gadfly). At the age of 13 she began training and taking classes in Toronto in addition to training at her studio. In 2010 she began dancing with the O.I.P Dance Company under the direction of Danny Davalos, where she trained for four years and was given the opportunity to meet and train with many of Toronto’s best choreographers.

In 2013, she joined BOSS Dance Company under the direction of Leah Totten which provided her with many opportunities as a dancer. Jac has since performed in shows such as We Day with Kiesza, Toronto’s Choreographers Ball, The Industry TO as a two time elite dancer, the mainstage for Toronto Pride, The Juno’s red carpet performance with Shawn Desman, Choreographers Cup in LA and many other live dance shows as well as concept/music videos. In addition to training in Toronto and Guelph, Jac has travelled to many cities such as L.A. and New York to train with top industry choreographers and become more versatile. She has also attended many Monsters of Hip Hop Conventions where she has received scholarships and been given the opportunity to train with many of the Industry’s best.

Jac is currently a faculty member at The Underground Dance Centre, DancelifeX, Rhythm2Dance, Kindred Culture, and AnnaMarie Oliver School of Dance. She teaches a wide range of ages from 5 to professional in a variety of styles and has a true passion for teaching. She recently was part of the faculty for the Rhythm2Dance winter camp alongside Bam Martin, Josh Williams, and Jerome Esplana. She has presented work at showcases such as Fever After Dark, Toronto’s Original Choreographers Ball, The Bazaar Dance Showcase, The Industry Night, and Boss Dance Company Productions to name a few.

 

KAYLEE CACCIOTTI

Kaylee Cacciotti, born and raised in Sudbury Ontario, has been gracing the stage since the young age of 2. Kaylee has trained extensively at her mother’s studio, Happiness is…Dancing,  in all disciplines of dance. Over the past 15 years, she competed with her local dance studio regionally, nationally and internationally, earning many prestigious titles, awards and scholarships. Fortunate to have trained with many professional choreographers and artists at various conventions and open classes, Kaylee has expanded her knowledge and artistry in the field of dance. Currently, Kaylee is enrolled in the Performance Dance program at Ryerson University. This program will allow Kaylee to fulfil her passion and assist her with entering the professional dance world.

In the last five years, Kaylee has also been employed as a teacher and choreographer. As well, she has been an assistant at several dance workshops in Ontario. Her energy, knowledge and enthusiasm in the classroom has motivated and inspired many young dancers. Kaylee is always striving to learn something new and continues to set higher goals for herself. Kaylee is looking forward to new and exciting opportunities that will leverage her dance career.